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How To Help With Your Child’s Cognitive Development

Watching your child grow is an incredible experience, but parents also must facilitate some of that growth.

You can learn how to help with your child’s cognitive development and strengthen their skills by reading ideas like these.

They’ll love having fun with you as you prepare them for school and life outside your home.

How To Help With Your Child’s Cognitive Development

1. Identify Things With Them

When you’re holding your infant and pointing to things like a family member on a video chat or the neighbor’s dog, they don’t understand what you’re saying.

Keep doing it anyway. As babies grow into toddlers, they’ll learn new concepts by watching and listening.

Encourage them to practice their sight and sound senses by identifying things for them. Your child will learn about bird sounds, different toys and more.

When they get old enough to talk, you can continue prompting them while asking them to describe what you point at to continue their education.

2. Recite the Alphabet

It’s never too early to start reading with your child. Read picture books together and flip through flashcards that demonstrate letters and sounds.

Reciting the alphabet stretches your child’s cognitive development by helping them grasp their native language early in life.

The faster they learn to read and speak, the sooner they’ll learn from the world and get into more challenging cognitive situations.

3. Sing Songs Together

Music is an excellent tool for parents learning how to help with their child’s cognitive development.

It activates their language skills, memory abilities and understanding of concepts like rhyme structures and storytelling.

Depending on what they hear, young children can also learn from their songs.

Check out educational songs that introduce new ideas with catchy tunes, like The Hokey Pokey and its dance moves or The Bear Necessities and its lesson about being content with what you have.

4. Try Open-Ended Play Time

Board games and video games are great ways to have fun with your child, but open-ended play is crucial for their cognitive development.

It facilitates playtime that doesn’t have any structure, encouraging young kids to make continuous decisions.

Playing make-believe in your home, backyard or local playground strengthens your child’s critical thinking skills by utilizing their creativity and letting them lead.

They’ll decide what their imaginary world will be, who they’ll become and what happens while they get to call the shots.

5. Visit the Local Museum

You may not think about going to a museum during your free time with your family.

It could seem like a place for older kids and teens to visit, but young children benefit from museum trips too.

Many offer interactive exhibits and hands-on activities designed explicitly for cognitive development.

You could perform a science experiment together, build a project or try crafts that match the museum’s exhibits.

Each new activity challenges your child’s understanding of the world and helps them learn new things with their fine motor skills.

6. Play Simon Says

Hand-eye coordination is an essential part of your child’s cognitive development. They’ll start using it early in life if you play games like Simon Says.

You’ll make a simple motion and they copy you. It’s easy for kids of all ages to enjoy, especially if you find a song to follow along.

Try other games if your child doesn’t like Simon Says or loses interest in it quickly.

Throw or roll a ball back and forth. Play connect-the-dot activities. Put puzzles together, color pictures or bounce a balloon in the air.

There are many ways to strengthen your child’s hand-eye coordination while nurturing their cognitive development.

How To Help With Your Child’s Cognitive Development

7. Ask Daily Questions

Try asking new questions when you don’t have time to add more activities to your daily routine. Get your child to describe why they prefer mac and cheese over spaghetti and meatballs.

Talk about why they like a particular outfit when you play dress-up.

It may seem like a minor effort that results in little cognitive change, but questions are great challenges for young minds.

They’ll have to think about the specifics behind their actions or preferences rather than go along with them.

It introduces layered concepts in your child’s daily life, which deepens their understanding of the world around them.

8. Give Them Directions

Little kids can’t complete multi-step actions very well. You would never ask them to clean the entire house or get groceries for the family, but they can complete two-step directions to stretch their minds. 

Ask your young child to put their toy away in the closet and close the door.

They could close their markers and store the marker box where it’s supposed to go.

Two-step directions challenge any child’s memory retention skills and ability to follow steps, which are crucial parts of their cognitive development before and during their grade school years.

Help With Your Child’s Cognitive Development

After reading about how to help with your child’s cognitive development, start practicing these tips in your daily life.

When kids get to make decisions, use their creativity, and fine-tune their motor skills, they’ll develop the skills they’ll need at every stage of their lives.

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